Come the fall, girls will be allowed to play full-contact football with boys on Catholic Youth Organization teams in the Philadelphia Archdiocese.

The process that led to the decision stemmed from the controversy over Caroline Pla, an 11-year-old girl who played with her Doylestown-based CYO football team last season in violation of the organization’s rules.

The policy banning girls’ participation posed a possible discrimination lawsuit under the federal Title IX statute that aims to open up opportunities for girls to play sports.

Flag football eliminates tackling and reduces the risk of concussion and other trauma from full-contact football.
The light-contact version of the sport is offered in other dioceses, including those in Texas and Southern California.